Bike/Walk SWV is committed to making walking and biking safe, fun, and convenient across our region. Through this program, Active SWV advocates for protected bike lanes, safe and complete streets, fitness trails, and a network of connected hiking trails to make communities more accessible to everyone. Rethinking the region’s infrastructure not only helps southern West Virginians improve their health and wellness by creating more opportunities to exercise outside, it also increases economic activity and job creation.
Is your community looking to become more friendly to biking and walking? We’re here to help. We’ll work alongside members of your community to assess your needs and plan the transition.
Can you be an advocate for Complete Streets in your community? There are many ways to support policy change including attending City Council meetings, joining or forming a Bicycle and Pedestrian Action Committee, and writing to local officials/leaders.
Active SWV in partnership with the Bureau of Public Health provides technical assistance to applicants for the Healthy People Healthy Places WV recognition. Achieving these benchmarks makes communities a better place to live, learn, work, eat, and play. By improving quality of life, these efforts help to reduce healthcare costs and make communities more attractive to people and businesses.
Healthy People Healthy Places communities received a $1,000 award, signage, and other materials to promote their commitment to policies, programs, and practices that promote healthier lifestyles.
Award benchmarks fall into these categories; Polices, Environmental, and Community-Clinic Linkage specific to nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco cessation.
2022 Applications for recognition will open September 2021.
Communities who are interested in applying for 2022 recognition can sign up to be notified when the application opens begins by clicking here.
Active Southern West Virginia has been a champion of the mission to bring Complete Streets policies to all the cities and towns in the New River Gorge Region and are proud to have the support of so many local municipalities to ensure safety for everyone that uses the streets in our communities.
By adopting a Complete Streets policy, communities direct their transportation planners and engineers to routinely design and operate the entire right of way to enable safe access for all users. This means that every transportation project will make the street network better and safer for drivers, transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists—making your town a better place to live.
“A Complete Streets approach integrates people and place in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of our transportation networks. This helps to ensure streets are safe for people of all ages and abilities, balance the needs of different modes, and support local land uses, economies, cultures, and natural environments.” -National Complete Streets Coalition
Click the links below to read a copy of each Complete Streets policy that was tailored to the cities’ needs.
This growing movement across our region benefits our communities in a number of ways including increasing recreation opportunities, economic development, and overall health and well-being. Active SWV will continue its efforts to work with other cities in the New River Gorge region to help create policies that will increase safety and connectivity for all residents.
In 2016 local organizations, including The City of Mount Hope, Active Southern West Virginia, National Coal Heritage Area Authority, New River Gorge Trail Alliance, West Virginia Land Trust, Rails to Trails Conservancy, West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center, United States Environmental Protection Agency, & National Park Service – Recreation, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program, began designing the Mount Hope Rail Trail Project to link the city of Mount Hope to nearby neighborhoods, the Summit Bechtel Reserve, and the
The Trail will connect Mount Hope to the Mill Creek neighborhood and provide an off-road alternative for residents to access the town by foot or by bike. Additionally, it will connect Mount Hope to the Summit Bechtel Reserve, allowing staff and campers to visit Mount Hope and access the trail by foot or by bike. Lastly, it will connect Mount Hope to the New River Gorge National River, allowing trail users to access the Terry Top trail and the Garden Ground Stacked Loop system of trails by foot or by bike.
The trail will serve as a crucial connection within the New River Gorge Trail Alliance’s southern West Virginia Trail Network. The Summit Bechtel Reserve has already permitted the opening of an old road between Mount Hope and Glen Jean for non-motorized trail users which will tie into the Mount Hope Rail Trail by way of Mount Hope’s designated in-town Bike/Walk routes.
Trail users will eventually be able to connect to the White Oak Rail Trail in Oak Hill by foot or bike. Further planning by the NRGTA will seek to connect Mount Hope further south to Beckley, the Piney Creek Gorge, and the Raleigh County Airport by trails. A long-term vision is for Scouts visiting Mount Hope for the World Jamboree to be able to hike all the way to camp from their airplanes (with some stops along the way, of course).
The 3.5-mile Rail Trail will tie into the city’s walking routes near the future Coal Heritage Discovery Center (former Patteson Dealership), allowing visitors to get exercise while exploring a historical corridor at their own pace. The City of Mount Hope will assume primary responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of the Mount Hope Rail Trail. I have been included on the project team as the City of Mount Hope’s representative to begin creating a rail-trail authority and begin looking into re-engaging and/or creating the Dunloup Creek Watershed Association, to maintain the rail-trail and the greenway.
Bike/Walk SWV uses a variety of guidelines in its facilitation and assistance of bike and pedestrian improvements, including the standards set forth by the League of AmericanBicyclists. Bike/Walk SWV offers technical assistance to communities in our six county region to apply to be recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bike Friendly Community. In addition to the public commendation, the cities also received valuable feedback on what further steps can be taken to earn a higher ranking. And most importantly, this feedback will guide our communities towards becoming more bike/walk friendly!